GRACELESS - Where Vultures Know Your Name (RAW SKULL Records - LP 2020)
Another excellent album from Graceless is coming this year (March, 2020) and I can guarantee that if you liked "Shadowlands" and "Endless Spiral of Terror" split with Grond, then "Where Vultures Know Your Name" will definitely be up your street also. Obviously Graceless is not trying to discover something new, they basically keep the classic death metal formulas as pure and traditional as possible... and for some it may mean that "Where Vultures Know Your Name" is going to be boring, but for the real death metal maniacs it will mean that this album is a real crusher. And it surely is, in my opinion.
This is one of those albums, which caught my attention right from the very beginning, with its massive heavy sound, powerful and brutal, but kind of infectious and memorable death metal. Yes, every song here is memorable. Maybe it's due to relatively simple riffage and song structures, or maybe it's just because Graceless aims to have similar vibe as the old heroes such as Bolt Thrower, Asphyx or Grave - which means that songs will not be a useless technical guitar-molestation, but actually have some sense, characteristic riffs and ideas and more so, the atmosphere. "Where Vultures..." is mainly mid paced or slow death metal, it never blasts like crazy, but still have that crushing sound and straight forward playing, which brings only destruction. I absolutely love that kind of death metal, which they present for instance in the title track or "Commander of Christ", which is very Asphyx-iated, and bring a fantastic combination of slow, heavy riffage and a bit mournful melodic parts. I can compare it also to some newer bands like Decaying or Just Before Dawn, and you can be sure that in case of all these bands it sounds great. That death metal style is what dominates on "Where Vultures Know Your Name", but unlike some other bands, it never sounds boring or repetitive, also because Graceless comes with a bit different ideas or songs here and there, like the more up-tempo "Warpath" or nice bass work in "Nine Days of Mourning"...
Anyway, the songwriting is in top quality level, in my opinion, there's truly strong death metal here and I cannot imagine that this album could be overlooked by death fanatics. So, if we can't get new albums from Bolt Thrower, Asphyx of Hail of Bullets, Graceless should satisfy our hunger. It did mine.
Standout tracks: "Nine Days of Mourning", "Commander of Christ", "Where Vultures Know Your Name", "Here be Dragons"